This week I decided to make an orange polenta cake, but I had a bag of oranges which needed using, so I made this Orange Upside Down Polenta Cake. Polenta cakes are among my favourite kinds of cakes, they’ve got a different texture; slightly gritty but moist and they’re quite filling too.
I was wistfully looking at the photographs of the rhubarb upside down cake I made last year and remembering how great it was. It was so great it made me want to grow more rhubarb so I could make it more often. Upside down cakes seem pretty old fashioned, but they’re really wonderful and can make an attractive centrepiece for an afternoon tea spread.
If you’re making this recipe you could remove the peel from the oranges and cut them into slices, laying them on the bottom of the cake tin. I wanted to make a batch of orange syrup, so I decided to make a bumper batch of my candied orange slices and used those as the top (or bottom) of my Orange Upside Down Polenta Cake.
Orange Upside Down Polenta Cake
For the topping:
Zest and juice of two oranges
50g unsalted butter
50g caster sugar
4 drops of Spice Drops Orange Zest Extract
For the cake:
250g butter or margarine
250g caster sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
200g plain flour
Zest of two oranges and juice of one orange
8 drops of Spice Drops Orange Zest Extract
How to make an Orange Upside Down Polenta Cake
Pre-heat your oven to 170° and line an 8 inch cake tin with baking paper.
In a small saucepan, melt the 50g of butter and sugar together. Zest two oranges and add the zest and the spice drops if you’re using them (they just boost the orange flavour). Once melted leave to cool for a few minutes, then pour into the bottom of your cake tin. Peel and slice the two zested oranges and arrange them artfully on top of the butter and sugar mixture.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy, add the eggs and mix thoroughly. Add the rest of the cake ingredients and mix well to form a smooth cake batter. Carefully pour the batter over the top of the orange layer and smooth off the top.
Put the cake in the oven for 50-60 minutes until it is cooked through. Check with a skewer to make sure it’s cooked properly. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack in the tin. Once it’s cooled for around an hour, take a plate and carefully flip the cake out of the tin, so the bottom of the cake is now the top. Remove any baking paper and leave to cool properly.
This Orange Upside Down Polenta Cake is lovely. Like I said, I topped mine with my candied orange slices, but it would be quicker and probably just as tasty if you used orange slices without the peel. It’s not a quick bake, but it is really easy and one I’ll be baking again and again.